Self Employmentimage of a white van

Becoming Self Employed & Setting up as a Sole Trader.


If you have ever wanted to know how to become a self-employed window cleaner then please keep reading on.


Window cleaning has to be one of the easiest ways to working for yourself and there will never be a shortage of windows that need cleaning.


April 2010 was a turning point in my career.

Since 1985 I had been employed in the motor trade, and in 2010 I was working as a General Sales Manager for Lindop Toyota.

I enjoyed my work; it was a safe job, and the company was a great one with a great boss; however, I wanted to do something for myself.


My boss always said everybody should try self-employment at least once, so I decided to take his advice.


The day I gave my notice coincidentally, the other Sales Manager also gave his in as well.

My boss took some convincing that it was a coincidence!


I now had 30 days to decide what I was going to do. I had already narrowed the choices down to 2.

Choice A – Borrow £ 50’000 against the house and become a Used Car Dealer

Choice B – Borrow nothing and become a window cleaner


One of the deciding factors was discovering how difficult it was (and still is) to find a reliable and regular window cleaner.

We had tried four different t window cleaners in less than two year years, and none of them proved to be regular or reliable.


How To Find Customers


While working my notice, I decided I wanted to hit the ground running, so I needed customers.

The fastest way to find customers as a window cleaner is by canvassing and knocking doors.

So one Saturday equipped with some business cards, I went knocking on the estate where I used to live.

The first house was not home, but on the second house, they were.

I asked them if they needed a good regular window cleaner, which they did, so we agreed on a four-week schedule at £10 a clean.

I couldn’t believe it. I had my first £10 customer on the books.


I repeated this process for the two weeks before I left my job and managed to secure 35 customers before I had officially started.


How to register as a sole trader


The next thing I need to do was register as a sole trader and find out how to get a UTR number.

It was effortless and straight forward, and I just did everything online with the tax office.


Finding a Van

Getting a decent working van was next on the list of things to do.

 I found my very first van down at the local auction which I got for just under £500, including auction fees.


image of a white van


Window Cleaners Insurance

I needed insurance for my van, which I organized with Alexander Swann and my public liability insurance I got through Gleaming Insurance.


Window Cleaning Equipment

I had decided to become a water fed pole window cleaner eventually however, I decided to start with learning the art of traditional window cleaning using a mop and window cleaning blade.

I purchased everything I need for under £400, including my window cleaning ladders.

I went with the window cleaning warehouse for all of my equipment apart from the window cleaning ladders, which I purchased through Midlands Ladders.



Setting up self-employment as a window cleaner is one of the lowest costs of entry businesses there is.

 So long as you don’t mind heights, then it could be an ideal business for you.